[fILE] Quadri and compatriot, Abiodun are said to be closed to qualifying for the semifinal of the European Table Tennis Union organised Champions League, as the first Africans.
Former National Table Tennis Coach, Babatunde Obisanya has described Aruna Quadri’s feat at the just concluded International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open in Lagos as encouraging, adding that he has more to offer to the sport.
Quadri defeated Frenchman, Antoine Hachard, in 11-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 to become the first Nigerian to win the championship held at the Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Obisanya said Quadri’s success did not come to him as a surprise except those who never believed it could happen. “No doubt, his victory at the Nigerian Open was a very good performance, especially to some of us who were cynical about it. I believe he still has more to offer the sport if given the necessary financial and technical back ups.
“One thing I know about the sport is that compared with others, you don’t relent in your efforts,” he said. The former star of the Asoju Oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Cup, however, advised the African top seed to aim higher by working harder to achieve greater success in future.
“You think you are there today, before you know it another person may just come and surprise you. He needs to be properly supported and I want to believe that Quadri is focused and knows what to do.
“He needs to attend as many competitions as possible; I mean top class competitions for him to improve his game. I want to think that in the next three to five years Quadri should be among top 10 best in the world. He has the potentials and I pray that God will help him and help his game,” he said.On the new status of the championship, Obisanya said, “The recent upgrade to Challenge Series Plus is a good development.
It only goes to tell you that the game organised in the country have been given global attention.“A lot of kudos go to the organisers, especially the Lagos State government and the head of the local organising committee Enitan Oshodi. Oshodi has done a great work seeking for sponsors at the professional level.
“I know when it comes to the Challenge Series Plus, players score more points in ranking, and of course they make more money. The higher the prize money, the better the quality of players available for the competition. I hope to see better quality players in the next year’s edition, at least players in top 30 world ranking,” he stated.